Feeds

Wikileaks loses briefly-open Icelandic payment channel

Back to Bitcoin, banks and brown envelopes for Assange™

Top three mobile application threats

So WikiLeaks and Julian Assange have been frustrated again: on the money front that is. They're back to cash, Bitcoin and bank transfers as a method of receiving donations.

There had been a hope last week that DataCell would be able to start processing donations, for it had made an agreement with the Icelandic bank Valitor to have Visa and Mastercard payments processed by the bank.

The problem for WikiLeaks, as you will know, is that the two credit card processing conglomerates have refused to handle donations being sent to the whistle-blowing site ever since the site published those US State Department documents last December. Might sound unfair, might even be unfair, but pissing off the big boys always does have consequences and no US-based company dependent upon a banking licence or even US government goodwill is going to take the risk of handling money for the people who did that.

DataCell says that it had always been open about the fact that it was going to process payments for WikiLeaks when it made its deal with Valitor. Valitor denies this. Spokeswoman Jonina Ingvadottir told Reuters in an emailed statement on Friday that:

"Valitor was not informed that DataCell would be conducting these activities when their business agreement was made."

She cited Visa and MasterCard's prohibition on the "service such as DataCell is offering WikiLeaks".

Some 100 or so payments made it through the system before this financial lifeline was again cut.

As WikiLeaks itself says, there doesn't seem to be any legislative reason why the two credit card companies can't or won't process donations to them, nor why PayPal can't. But that they won't is certainly a problem: WikiLeaks' own estimation is that the bans have cost it $15m in reduced donations.

It's certainly possible to get irate about the financial strangulation: but DataCell themselves do seem to have been a bit cheeky here, knowing full well that when it became known that WikiLeaks' donations were being processed through the Visa system that that processing would stop. Or at least they should have known full well.

Perhaps this is more political theatre rather than a really determined attempt to open up the funding route again. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.